Content marketing is often disregarded as an art. It’s characterized as something for the creative types. In reality, content marketing should be the most data-driven form of marketing that there is.
By the nature of being on the internet, it’s incredibly easy to track results when compared to TV or radio advertising. All of the visitors to our website are recorded, the website they came from is tracked and what they do on your site is monitored.
All of this data is at your disposal. It’s up to you to use it. Many content marketers fail to make the most of all the data that they have available. However, without gathering data, you can never know what succeeded and why.
Choosing not to collect and use data is choosing to waste money and leave potential profit on the table!
Learn from other company’s campaigns
There are amazing tools out there like BuzzSumo which you can use to collect data from other businesses marketing campaigns. BuzzSumo will tell you how well each piece of content performed on social media.
You can use this data along with backlink data from Ahrefs to see how successful a piece of content was on social media and in collecting links.
It’s important that you don’t entirely rely on this data because the success of a piece of content is, of course, dependent on the amount of effort you put in.
Regardless, it’s an excellent way to see what kind of content performs best in your industry. This research should help you to form ideas that have a greater chance of success and will help you to avoid bad ideas.
It can also show you the kinds of websites that link to that type of content. These are the sites that you can reach out to when you are trying to publicize your site.
Review the performance of your own
Once you have started content marketing, it’s important that you can evaluate your performance. You should go back through all of your campaigns and learn something from them.
Each of them will be able to tell you something about how the audience engaged with it and what you should do differently next time. A single piece of content might not provide a lot of useful data, but over a year of content marketing, you should have thousands of data points.
All of this can be aggregated and used in your analysis to decide what performs best.
This data can then be compared to the time and resources used for each piece of content. Therefore, you should be able to figure out the ROI of each piece of content quickly and allow yourself a better understanding of what is the best type of content to spend your time on.
How you can collect data
Most of us understand that data is important. Many SMB’s recognize that the more data they have, the better, but they might not understand how they can collect it or what type of information is available.
It can seem overwhelming and frustrating to think about adding another factor into your marketing, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Once your tracking is set up, you can check on each indicator after a campaign and compare the results. It’s an important data source that will allow you to tweak your efforts to get a better return on your content marketing.
Engagement is one of the easiest metrics to track because it’s often tracked by the platforms that you use. Engagement includes; comments, likes, shares and time spent on each page.
These engagement metrics help you to understand how your readers are reacting to pieces. Sharing and liking of content is an organic growth method that is beneficial to businesses of all sizes. If you can get your audience to do your marketing for you, you can save money and get better results.
Growth is what all businesses want. Most will also pay attention to the trends of their social media profiles and their website traffic. However, they might not be segmenting the data by time periods to analyze how each piece of content performed.
Again, most of this data is automatically tracked by Google Analytics and your social profiles. This data is a great way to follow the ‘bottom line’ of your content marketing. Most businesses are looking for growth in their traffic and social media profiles, so it’s important to segment the data and track it carefully.
Understand traffic sources
Depending on your business and the type of content that you’re marketing different platforms may be better suited than others. For example; companies that have visually appealing products or services might perform better on Instagram than on Twitter.
Inside of Google Analytics, you can segment your traffic by referral source. This data allows you to track the performance of the same content across multiple platforms, allowing you to understand what works best for your business.
Data shouldn’t be overlooked in content marketing. It’s not only there as a means of refining your existing campaigns, but also as a way to brainstorm. Learning from other companies successes and failures is the best way to increase your chances of success.